Inclusivity in Action: PSD’s mixed-gender netball tournament

Bhubaneswar: A mixed-gender netball tournament was held yesterday at Vivekananda Sikhya Kendra, a community school in Dumduma, here, and it witnessed the active participation of 144 young people, including 80 girls and 64 boys.

The competition not only provided a platform for athletic prowess but also promoted teamwork, resilience, and gender inclusivity, as stated by a male participant of the CSP, studying in class 8 at Beena Bharati Vidya Mandir School, here.

“Through netball, we have learned about various topics such as gender equality, teamwork, respecting each other, and communication. I was the captain of my team for this year’s netball tournament and my team played quite well. Communication was particularly good in my team and we have great coordination as well. I hope we can keep performing this way in the future as well,” a participant opined.

In addition to the CSP, PSD has been implementing various other programs with young people from underserved slum communities in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The  Community Cricket Program (CCP) is one such program that focuses on building cricket-based skills, awareness of child rights and leadership development among young people. Notably, in September 2023, eight CCP participants represented Odisha at the Street Child Cricket World Cup in Chennai, acting as advocates for marginalized young people in the state.

The  Community Table Tennis program, operational between 2021 and 2023, is another program that was implemented by PSD in collaboration with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Foundation in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. This initiative effectively utilized table tennis to build soft skills and promote gender sensitivity among young people.

 Beyond engagement with young people, PSD works with facilitators (PE teachers, sports coaches, community trainers, youth leaders) and institutions and organizations globally, providing them with the tools and support to better engage young people through sport, hence enabling sustainable impact among communities using the power of sport.

By improving health, promoting soft-skill development, instilling values, combating gender inequality, and unlocking overall potential, PSD strives to shape a future where young people emerge as empowered leaders through the transformative power of sport.

Pro Sport Development (PSD) is an award-winning social enterprise that has been transforming young lives through sport since its establishment in 2013. Dedicated to harnessing the power of sport, physical activity and play for holistic development, PSD operates with a mission to empower young people to become confident, competent, and gender-sensitive leaders, who are able to forge better futures for themselves. PSD has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee’s Sport and Active Society in 2018 for its outstanding work in the area of sports for all.

PSD has been directly working with young people since its inception through the design and implementation of various sport for development programs in Odisha. This includes PSD’s flagship program, the Community Sports Program (CSP), launched in 2015, which utilizes a multi-sport approach to teach soft skills, promote values education, and challenge gender perceptions. Since 2013, PSD’s programs have collectively impacted over 12,500 young people in 16 states across India. In Odisha, PSD’s programs have impacted over 7,800 young people, achieving a balanced gender representation of 49% boys and 51% girls across various programs.

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